Wait, Pray, Give: North Georgia Ready to Help

9/17/2018

Updated Sept 17

North Georgia United Methodists are praying for all in the path of Hurricane Florence as the storm continues to hover over the east coast. 

Monday Update
Rev. Scott Parrish, North Georgia Disaster Response Coordinator, is in regular contact with our counterparts in the North and South Carolina Conferences and with UMCOR.

He shares this morning that North Carolina is still in the emergency stage in many areas. It will take time to make the situation safe even for Early Response Teams to deploy. 

"They expect to do assessments in the next few days with the various government, nonprofit, and faith partners. Yet all recognize this is a huge impact area and it will take time," said Parrish. "They know our concern and support and will call us when they are ready to receive teams." 

South Carolina has seen many areas flooded by Hurricane Matthew flooded again in addition to some communities which haven't previously been flooded. Rivers aren't expected to crest until late Tuesday or Wednesday.

Giving
Our best first response is praying and giving. Fund Number 9431 has been set for Hurricane Florence Relief. (Read more here.)

Serving
Parrish has been in touch with his counterparts in North Carolina, Western North Carolina, and South Carolina to let them know that the North Georgia Conference stands ready to help. 

"I'm communicating with folks I've known since Hurricane Floyd response in 1999," said Parrish. "I'm grateful for the UMC connection and the opportunities to learn, grow, and network over the years. I'd be honored to help some of you find your place with these extraordinary saints who incarnate the UMC & UMCOR practice of 'early in, last out' when it comes to disaster response."

"We will have MANY opportunities both in North Georgia and around the southeast and US in the days, months, and years ahead," he continued.

The North Georgia Conference can be the most helpful to our neighbors by following the best practices below:

Best Practices for Churches

  • Do not self-deploy, but wait for the official invitation to respond. We are at our best when disaster response is coordinated locally.
  • Check your church calendar. When can your church plan a mission trip in the next 6 months? Over the summer? Over a long weekend? We have not yet received an invitation to deploy but know the need will be great and will be ongoing for weeks and months, even years to come. 
  • Prayers and giving are our most effective first response. (Use Fund #9431 for Hurricane Florence Relief.)
  • We are well-stocked with UMCOR Relief Kits. (Thank you!) Watch for the request for more kits when they are needed.
  • Do not collect unrequested items. 
  • This is a rapidly changing situation, so check ngumc.org and the Weekly Update e-newsletter for the most current information.

Reminders for Badged ERTs:
  • Currently badged Early Response Teams should watch, wait, and ready themselves by reviewing their Disaster Response manual and team functioning.
  • ERTs in your church should begin coordinating to see who might be ready when needed, knowing that it could be a week or 2 or 3 or more before an invitation is issued. Check on available timing and check tools/supplies.

Related

Fund Number Set for Hurricane Florence Response
Conference Disaster Response Ministry Webpage


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